Leslie Morgan: How to Help a Friend in a Bad Relationship

July 8 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: Love Isn't Dead

In Amy Poehler’s new movie, Wine Country, one of the characters is in, put simply, a lame relationship. All the friends know it but don’t say a word. It’s treacherous to be alongside a rocky relationship: what do you do? First of all, don’t rush to give advice. (Is there anything more awkward than gossiping about your friend’s ex only for her to get back together with him?) Establish boundaries when your friend complains; don’t get sucked into the drama yourself and let it affect your own relationship. Once you’ve got your parameters set and your Dear Abby instincts under control, do the most important thing: listen and ask questions.


Relationships and marriage aren’t things that can be left on the stove to simmer. Half the time I boil water, I forget about it until there’s only a centimeter of water left. I can add more water and boil all over again, but it’s much easier to keep an eye on it the entire time. Do a check-in on your relationship. It looks like many are already doing so, since the divorce rate is declining. Now, only 39 percent of lovebirds cut the knot.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Leslie Morgan, Feminist Author & Female Sexuality Advocate

Author Leslie Morgan was married for two decades before it ended in divorce when she was nearly 50. At the time, Leslie had a couple well-regarded books: Crazy Love, Mommy Wars and the Baby Chase. In many ways, her identity was wrapped up in her relationships, whether with those were with her husband or kids.

Following the divorce, Leslie says she didn’t want to be the typical middle-aged divorcee that’s always a joke on TV. She set out to write a book called The Naked Truth, in which she’d connect with a handful of, ahem, lovers. It’s like Eat, Pray, Love, except steamier and more candid. Leslie’s tale of finding her sexuality as a 50-something woman has resonated with female readers everywhere.

Over the course of Leslie’s career, she’s found a way to pen stories that connect with readers. In only a couple years, Leslie wrote more than 500 columns about work and family for The Washington Post. She helped launch Splenda sweetener across the world before becoming the general manager of Washington Post Magazine.

Her career pivoted when “mom” was added to her title. Juggling a lively career and raising kids proved challenging (says every mother ever), so she dedicated her life to a more flexible career of writing full-time.

But before Leslie embraced a life as a mother and author, she suffered in an abusive relationship. Leslie didn’t tell a soul about how her husband choked her and held loaded guns to her head. It wasn’t until the police talked to her, as she lay “bloodied and bruised,” that she shared her story.

In 2013, Leslie shared her story of domestic abuse on the TED stage. The talk has been viewed more than 5 million times. Leslie explains why victims don’t leave abusive relationships and urges others to break the silence and share their stories of loving a troubling partner. Sharing your story and listening to others’ stories is a crucial component of healing.


J.K. Rowling said:

"Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences."

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